Virgin Galactic

  • Virgin Galactic's second commercial spacecraft has passed an important milestone. The fuselage, cabin, and wing assembly of the next SpaceShipTwo have been joined together, and the two tail booms have been mated to the rear feather flap assembly.
  • Virgin Galactic has declared its Gateway to Space building at Spaceport America "operationally functional" as company officials unveiled the interior of the facility that will act as both Mission Control and the departure/arrival lounge for space tourists.
  • Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity has broken several records during its second flight into space, as well carrying three crew for the first time. The supersonic, rocket-powered spaceflight reached an altitude of 295,007 ft and a top speed of Mach 3.04.
  • The motor that powered Virgin Galactic's VSS unity into space has been donated to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, where it will be exhibited as part of its new "Future of Spaceflight" commercial space flight gallery.
  • Two Virgin Galactic test pilots have received the first commercial astronaut wings to be issued in 15 years. Mark "Forger" Stucky and "CJ" Sturckow were presented with wings commemorating their suborbital flight into space last December.
  • The Sun is setting on 2018, and with so many eyes on (and in) the skies it’s been a stellar year for space photography. From mesmerizing nebulae to historic firsts to stunning views of Earth and other planets, New Atlas rounds up some of the best space photos of the year.
  • After years of preparation, testing, and tragedy, Virgin Galactic has touched the edge of space. This Thursday in the skies over Mojave, California, the company's VSS Unity fired its hybrid rocket engine for a full minute, propelling her pilots at Mach 3 to an altitude of 51.4 mi (82.7 km).
  • Virgin Galactic may finally reach space tomorrow, with the company's VSS Unity spacecraft currently being prepared for its fourth powered test flight. If weather and technical issues permit, the spaceplane will reach supersonic speeds on a suborbital trajectory to reach an altitude of about 62 mi.
  • Virgin Galactic's manned spaceplane has hit another milestone, breaking Mach 2 as it roared into the mesosphere. With test pilots Dave Mackay and Mike “Sooch” Masucci at the controls, VSS Unity reached 170,800 ft (32.3 miles, 52 km) and a speed of Mach 2.47 (1,832 mph, 2,948 km/h).
  • ​Virgin Galactic has shown the first firing of its spaceplane’s chemical rocket engine was no fluke, following last month’s effort with another successful outing In California. The latest test flight takes the tourist-carrying space vehicle a little closer to space, literally and figuratively.
  • ​​Becoming an astronaut is a famously difficult and demanding process, but when you’re the CEO of a fledgling space tourism company, perhaps you can make your own rules. Richard Branson has now revealed that if all goes to plan, he could be launching himself into space in a matter of months. ​
  • Virgin Galactic's tourist-carrying spaceplane has taken a step closer to entering service after its chemical rocket engine was fired for the first time. VSS Unity reached Mach 1.87 (1,424 mph, 2,290 km/h) within 30 seconds of igniting its engine.